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“The missionary desire to bring souls to Christ” 

"Since the time that it pleased Divine Providence to call me to the holy missions, I always had one thought in mind: I wondered if I would really manage to bring even one soul out of the darkness of idolatry, if I would succeed in saving even one soul. And I could not, I did not know how to, I dared not answer this thought, this anxiety. There was only hope. Perhaps I would not do anything, perhaps I would do something... I didn’t dare hope I would do much; but, I thought to myself, who knows whether the Lord will want to use me and how much? In any case it is enough to do the will of God. Therefore the desire was there. 

When the time came to administer my district in China, certainly I desired more than ever the conversion of idolaters. Seeing the dominant idolatry... seeing so many idolaters, seeing large built-up areas and knowing that no one there adored the true God... worried me, disheartened me, saddened my heart and I was tormented. I longed for them to adore the true God; I wanted to toil for their conversion. At the bottom of my heart, although unworthily, I prayed the God of mercies to let this people see the Light that He sent to the world and to remove them from the darkness and shadows of death where they lie wretchedly buried. 

And yet, thinking of converting those idolaters I did not know what I could do, and seeing I could do hardly anything, it broke my heart. However I began to exhort Christians continually to speak to their friends, to their neighbours and others so that I could hope they would be converted. 

On the other hand it seems to me that in actual fact conversions are not made with philosophical arguments, but they have a foundation in faith that helps the person who announces the Christian truth. And it is for this reason that good Christians, and even more so new converts, can do very much. However if there is no priest who urges, they do nothing... Therefore under the obedience of my superiors I hope to work always with zeal in the Lord’s vineyard and always do his holy will." 

(St Aubrey Crescitelli, P.I.M.E. Martyr in China in 1900, Letter to H. Em. Card. Simeoni, Prefect of Prof. Fide: 7 June 1890)


(from the Manual of Prayers for P.I.M.E. Missionaries)  

Almighty Father, you created all things from nothing, renew the wonders of your power, call all peoples to the light of the Gospel: they too are yours, they will praise you in eternity. Merciful Son, you willingly suffered the agony of the cross for our sake, renew the wonders of your redemption, call those souls to love you that you have already redeemed with your divine blood. Holy Spirit, you bring to fulfilment all holy works, make us docile to your plan of love that we may be humble vessels of your love. 

O Lord, I consecrate to you the thoughts of my mind, the emotions of my heart, the strength of my body, my possessions, my health, my honour, my life. I want to live for you alone, to die for you alone. Here I am, make me pure, make me holy, that I may be worthy to offer myself to you. 

O Mary, Mother of God and men, you rejoiced at the angel’s annunciation and suffered at the foot of the cross, may all people know you, may all people see and love you forever in heaven. Our guardian Angels, glorious Apostles Peter and Paul, Fr. Francis Xavier and St Teresa of the Child Jesus, patrons of Missions, St Aubrey and Blessed John, pray for us and for all the people of the world.  

Prepared by Pontifical University Urbaniana,
with the collaboration of the Missionary Institutes